We often hear that exercise is the best medicine, but this is more than just a clichéd saying. Increasing evidence suggests that regular activity can stave off serious diseases, improve mental health and even help us live longer, so the advice to become more active should not be ignored.
We all know that we’re more likely to stick to a fitness regime if we actually enjoy it, which is why playing sports is better for some people than going to the gym. So, if you find working out a chore, why not try one of these five activities instead?
Swimming is excellent for all areas of physical health. It’s a highly aerobic exercise, burning calories at the same time as building muscles and improving lung capacity. It’s a low-stress activity, which means it’s the perfect way to relax after a busy day and helps to enhance mental clarity. Swimming can be done at an indoor pool at any time of year, so it is perhaps one of the most inclusive sports there is.
You may not think golf burns many calories, but the popular sport has been found to have many physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages. Make the most of your hobby by visiting one of the world’s most infamous golf courses. For example, St. George Utah golf courses have a worldwide reputation, so they present the perfect place to practice your sport. Take a trip to the USA for your next holiday, and spend your days on the Red Rock Golf Trail.
There’s a reason why millions of bike races take place around the world each summer. Cycling is a fun, low-impact activity that’s great for physical health – plus, it’s one of the easiest and cheapest ways to stay fit. Cycling burns serious calories, but it can also make you stronger and improve brain function. The benefits of cycling are almost endless: it’s cheaper, healthier and better for the environment to driving or using public transport, and it dramatically increases cardiovascular fitness.
Increasing evidence suggests that those who run regularly are less likely to experience bone and muscle loss as they age. Running also releases endorphins, making it an effective antidote for anxiety and depression. Moreover, studies have shown that running can help prevent serious and life-threatening conditions, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and even cancer.
Tennis is a sport that many people play for fun rather than exercise, but studies show that an hour-long game can burn up to 600 calories, putting it on par with jogging and cycling as one of the best aerobic exercises for overall health. With tennis, you exert energy in short but powerful bursts, strengthening muscles and improving hand-eye coordination in the process.
Whatever your sport of choice, studies recommends 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five times a week for optimum health and fitness. Strength exercises should also be incorporated into your workout routine one or two days a week, such as lunges, lifting weights and strenuous yoga.